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Mother killed by flying umbrella was celebrating birthday at Virginia Beach

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UPDATE: Friends speak lovingly of Chesterfield mother fatally struck by beach umbrella

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Lottie Belk, the 55-year-old Chesterfield woman killed Wednesday by a flying beach umbrella, was celebrating her birthday and anniversary at Virginia Beach.

Belk's oldest daughter Ashley Denton said her mother was a "loving lady" who worked in the mental health profession for many years.

Lottie Belk and her daughters

Lottie Belk and her daughters

She said her mother recently earned her Master's Degree in business from Strayer University.

Lottie Belk at graduation

Lottie Belk at graduation

Belk leaves behind two daughters, a stepson, a stepdaughter, and a husband.

The Incident

The umbrella struck Belk Wednesday at about 5 p.m. when high winds sent the anchored umbrella flying across the sand.

"It was pretty windy down here," witness Hugh Martin said. "Saw the umbrella go up in the air, and literally hit the woman, knocking her to the side."

Hugh Martin

Hugh Martin

As lifeguards and other witnesses rushed to Belk's aide, police were called to the beach around 33rd Street to respond to what was described as a cardiac arrest.

"It was probably the most scariest things I've ever seen," Martin said.

Belk was rushed to a Virginia Beach hospital where she later died.

Lottie Belk

Lottie Belk

"There is no evidence of foul play," a Virginia Beach spokesperson said.

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